What's a Raconteur?

rac·on·teur
/ˌräˌkänˈtər/

A person who tells anecdotes in a skillful and amusing way; a storyteller; a narrator

How to Hire a Life Story Writer (AKA a Memoir Writer, Biographer, or Ghostwriter) – Tips and What to Expect

How to Hire a Life Story Writer (AKA a Memoir Writer, Biographer, or Ghostwriter) – Tips and What to Expect

March 8, 2019 | Olivia Savoie


1. What is the difference between a life story writer, a memoir writer, a biographer, and a ghostwriter? 

A life story writer can be a memoir writer, biographer, or both; it is an all-encompassing term. A memoir writer writes about certain aspects of a life or a whole life, but in a less intensive way than a biographer would. For example, our writers write memoirs from the storyteller’s point of view, while biographies written by a biographer tend to be more technically researched and not bespoke. Finally, a ghostwriter is any writer who pens a manuscript on behalf of another person. So, life story writers, memoir writers, and biography writers often fall under the overarching term ghostwriter. 

2. How do I know if a writer is reputable, talented, and a good fit for me? 

Before hiring a writer, see if their website includes solid answers to frequently asked questions, reputable testimonials, and a lengthy portfolio. By carefully examining the frequently asked questions, you will learn more about the writer’s specialties and processes. By reviewing testimonials, you can ensure the quality of writing and finished products. By scanning the writer’s portfolio, you will ensure that he or she is experienced enough to tackle your life story project. 

3. What work should be expected of me when I hire a personal life story writer? 

No work at all. If a life story writer expects you to fill out pages and pages of interview questions by hand, you have found the wrong writer. At Raconteur, we handle every detail of the process. All you have to do is verbally answer interview questions about your life story during your in-person interviews. There is no further effort on your part. 

4. How long should it take? 

When you hire a life story writer to write your memoir, you should only be expected to be involved in the interview phase, lasting about one week or less. (If you are aiming for an above average, extensive life story book, then more interview time may be necessary.) At Raconteur, we conduct interviews in three-hour increments on consecutive days. After that, we spend one to three months writing your life story. The finished book is printed within about three months of the final interview. 

5. How do I know I will like the finished book?

When hiring a memoir writer or biographer, make sure you have read excerpts of their writing. Do you like the flow? The style? The order of events? If you are reading our portfolio, you will notice that each story is told from a distinct voice: that of the individual who is telling his or her life story. Do you like the readability of bespoke books? By reading samples of the writer’s work before hiring him or her, you will ensure your satisfaction with your own story. 

6. How much should it cost? 

Cost depends on interview and writing time involved, travel expenses, and design fees. 50-page books should cost considerably less than 100-page books or 150-page books. Considering that a tremendous amount of time will go into the creation of your life story book (usually 100 to 300 hours at Raconteur), be weary of low prices. If you receive a price quote that seems incredibly low, then do extra research on the writer to be sure that the deal isn’t too good to be true, resulting in a poor product or no product at all.  


Contact Raconteur

The subject(s) of the book is alive and able to communicate their story to a writer
The subject(s) of the book has passed away and other loved ones will relay their story to the writer
The subject(s) of the book has written pieces of their life story, but needs a writer to add to and refine the work for publication
Other

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The subject(s) of the book is alive and able to communicate their story to a writer
The subject(s) of the book has passed away and other loved ones will relay their story to the writer
The subject(s) of the book has written pieces of their life story, but needs a writer to add to and refine the work for publication
Other
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